Structure, function, and molecular control of the skin lymphatic system.
The mechanisms of angiogenesis have been studied extensively over the past years. The focus, however, has been almost exclusively on blood vessels, whereas little effort has been directed toward understanding lymphangiogenesis and the role of lymphatic vessels in physiology and pathology. The lymphatic system, acting in concert with the blood vascular system, is of fundamental importance in maintaining tissue homeostasis, and disorders of the lymphatic system are common, often resulting in chronic, disabling conditions. This overview summarizes the most important aspects of the structure and function of the lymphatic system with emphasis on the skin lymphatic vasculature and the differences between blood and lymphatic vessels. Special attention has been given to the methods employed in research of the lymphatic system. Finally, we describe molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of lymphangiogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor-C, expressed by distinct skin cell populations, play an important role in the molecular control of skin angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. (+info)
Expression and function of keratinocyte growth factor and activin in skin morphogenesis and cutaneous wound repair.
Reepithelialization and granulation tissue formation during cutaneous wound repair are mediated by a wide variety of growth and differentiation factors. Recent studies from our laboratory provided evidence for an important role of keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) in the repair of the injured epithelium and for a novel function of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily member activin in granulation tissue formation. KGF is weakly expressed in human skin, but is strongly upregulated in dermal fibroblasts after skin injury. Its binding to a transmembrane receptor on keratinocytes induces proliferation and migration of these cells. Furthermore, KGF has been shown to protect epithelial cells from the toxic effects of reactive oxygen species. We have identified a series of KGF-regulated genes that are likely to play a role in these processes. In addition to KGF, activin seems to be a novel player in wound healing. Activin expression is hardly detectable in nonwounded skin, but this factor is highly expressed in redifferentiating keratinocytes of the hyperproliferative wound epithelium as well as in cells of the granulation tissue. To gain insight into the role of activin in wound repair, we generated transgenic mice that overexpress activin in basal keratinocytes of the epidermis. These mice were characterized by a hyperthickened epidermis and by dermal fibrosis. Most importantly, overexpression of activin strongly enhanced the process of granulation tissue formation, demonstrating a novel and important role of activin in cutaneous wound repair. (+info)
Angiogenesis in wound healing.
During wound healing, angiogenic capillary sprouts invade the fibrin/fibronectin-rich wound clot and within a few days organize into a microvascular network throughout the granulation tissue. As collagen accumulates in the granulation tissue to produce scar, the density of blood vessels diminishes. A dynamic interaction occurs among endothelial cells, angiogenic cytokines, such as FGF, VEGF, TGF-beta, angiopoietin, and mast cell tryptase, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) environment. Specific endothelial cell ECM receptors are critical for these morphogenetic changes in blood vessels during wound repair. In particular, alpha(v)beta3, the integrin receptor for fibrin and fibronectin, appears to be required for wound angiogenesis: alpha(v)beta3 is expressed on the tips of angiogenic capillary sprouts invading the wound clot, and functional inhibitors of alpha(v)beta3 transiently inhibit granulation tissue formation. Recent investigations have shown that the wound ECM can regulate angiogenesis in part by modulating integrin receptor expression. mRNA levels of alpha(v)beta3 in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells either plated on fibronectin or overlaid by fibrin gel were higher than in cells plated on collagen or overlaid by collagen gel. Wound angiogenesis also appears to be regulated by endothelial cell interaction with the specific three-dimensional ECM environment in the wound space. In an in vitro model of human sprout angiogenesis, three-dimensional fibrin gel, simulating early wound clot, but not collagen gel, simulating late granulation tissue, supported capillary sprout formation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate wound angiogenesis, particularly how ECM modulates ECM receptor and angiogenic factor requirements, may provide new approaches for treating chronic wounds. (+info)
Multisensory cortical signal increases and decreases during vestibular galvanic stimulation (fMRI).
Functional magnetic resonance imaging blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal increases (activations) and BOLD signal decreases ("deactivations") were compared in six healthy volunteers during galvanic vestibular (mastoid) and galvanic cutaneous (neck) stimulation in order to differentiate vestibular from ocular motor and nociceptive functions. By calculating the contrast for vestibular activation minus cutaneous activation for the group, we found activations in the anterior parts of the insula, the paramedian and dorsolateral thalamus, the putamen, the inferior parietal lobule [Brodmann area (BA) 40], the precentral gyrus (frontal eye field, BA 6), the middle frontal gyrus (prefrontal cortex, BA 46/9), the middle temporal gyrus (BA 37), the superior temporal gyrus (BA 22), and the anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 32) as well as in both cerebellar hemispheres. These activations can be attributed to multisensory vestibular and ocular motor functions. Single-subject analysis in addition showed distinctly nonoverlapping activations in the posterior insula, which corresponds to the parieto-insular vestibular cortex in the monkey. During vestibular stimulation, there was also a significant signal decrease in the visual cortex (BA 18, 19), which spared BA 17. A different "deactivation" was found during cutaneous stimulation; it included upper parieto-occipital areas in the middle temporal and occipital gyri (BA 19/39/18). Under both stimulation conditions, there were signal decreases in the somatosensory cortex (BA 2/3/4). Stimulus-dependent, inhibitory vestibular-visual, and nociceptive-somatosensory interactions may be functionally significant for processing perception and sensorimotor control. (+info)
evx1 transcription in bony fin rays segment boundaries leads to a reiterated pattern during zebrafish fin development and regeneration.
The dermoskeleton of zebrafish fins is composed of actinotrichia and segmented bony rays, or lepidotrichia, which grow by successive addition of distal segments. The present study shows that evx1, a new zebrafish even-skipped related gene (Thaeron et al., 2000) displays during bony ray morphogenesis, a unique repetitive expression pattern along the proximodistal axis of the fin. Whole-mount in situ hybridization performed on larvae and adult regenerating fins show that evx1 signal appears as parallel dash lines crossing the width of each developing and regenerating rays, in a ladder-like fashion. Cytological studies show that a subpopulation of bone forming cells (scleroblasts) expresses evx1 at the level of the joint between two adjacent segments except in the apical part of the differentiating ray where evx1 expression precedes the formation of the joint. This distal transcription is turned on again only when the latest differentiating segment reached its final size and might label the putative next segment boundary. This suggests the existence of a molecular mechanism controlling the periodic expression of evx1 which could be involved in the establishment of segment boundaries during fin ray morphogenesis, and could play a key role during dermal skeleton patterning. (+info)
The neurogenic vasodilator response to endothelin-1: a study in human skin in vivo.
We have investigated the mediators and mechanisms underlying the vasodilator effects of the potent vasoactive peptide, endothelin-1 (ET-1) and its isomers ET-2 and ET-3 in human skin, in vivo, using cutaneous microdialysis to quantify the release of mediators within the dermal response and scanning laser Doppler imaging to measure changes in blood flux. The effects of local anaesthesia, inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) by L-NAME and ET receptor blockade on the ET-induced vascular response were also investigated. ET-1, -2 and -3 all caused a dose-dependent area of pallor surrounded by a long-lasting flare which was accompanied by a short-lived burning pruritus. The concentration of nitric oxide (NO) in dialysate collected within the pallor response to 5 microM ET-1 (1.43 +/- 0.64 microM, n = 5) was not significantly different from baseline levels collected prior to injection (0.86 +/- 0.38 microM) whilst that in the flare increased to reach a peak value of 2.28 +/- 0.61 microM at between 4 and 10 min after intradermal injection (P < 0.004). Pretreatment with local anaesthetic slowed the development of the flare and significantly reduced its size by up to 52% at 20 min after injection (P < 0.05) but had no significant effect on the central pallor. L-NAME, delivered by dialysis also caused a significant reduction in the ET-1-induced flare (P < 0.005). Bosentan, the non-selective ET(A)/ET(B) antagonist, when given by dialysis at the site of injection, reduced the area of both the ET-1-induced pallor and surrounding flare by 41 and 26%, respectively. No significant increase in tissue histamine was measured within either the pallor or flare response to ET-1, -2 or -3. Together these data confirm that the vasodilator response to endothelin-1 in human skin is neurogenic in origin and that it is in part mediated by the local release of nitric oxide. There appears to be little evidence for the involvement of mast cell-derived histamine in the initiation or modulation of ET-induced vasodilatation, in vivo. (+info)
Variations in regional sweat composition in normal human males.
This project aimed to quantify the regional distribution of sweat composition over the skin surface and to determine whether sweat constituent concentrations collected from regional sites can estimate whole-body concentrations. Ten males cycled for 90 min in a 20 degrees C (50% relative humidity) environment at 45% peak aerobic power. Sweat was collected from eleven skin regions and the whole body, using a wash-down technique. Strong relationships were evident between the regional and whole-body sweat [Na+] and [Cl-], such that the thigh and calf exhibited greater correlation coefficients than area-weighted means derived from four and eight skin regions. Therefore, in this particular protocol the whole-body sweat [Na+] and [Cl-] could be predicted from regional sweat collections. Relationships between sweat constituents were evident for sweat [Na+] and pH, and sweat [K+] and [lactate] when data were pooled between skin regions and subjects. To our knowledge this is the first investigation to report a positive relationship between sweat [K+] and [lactate]. The exact mechanism responsible for the positive relationship between sweat [K+] and [lactate] is uncertain although it is speculated to occur at the secretory coil. (+info)
Excitability of the human trigeminal motoneuronal pool and interactions with other brainstem reflex pathways.
We studied the properties of motoneurones and Ia-motoneuronal connections in the human trigeminal system, and their functional interactions with other brainstem reflex pathways mediated by non-muscular (Abeta) afferents. With surface EMG recordings we tested the recovery cycles of the heteronymous H-reflex in the temporalis muscle and the homonymous silent period in the masseter muscle both elicited by stimulation of the masseteric nerve at the infratemporal fossa in nine healthy subjects. In four subjects single motor-unit responses were recorded from the temporalis muscle. In six subjects we also tested the effect of the stimulus to the mental nerve on the temporalis H-reflex and, conversely, the effect of Ia input (stimulus to the masseteric nerve) on the R1 component of the blink reflex in the orbicularis oculi muscle. The recovery cycle of the H-reflex showed a suppression peaking at the 5-20 ms interval; conversely the time course of the masseteric silent period was facilitated at comparable intervals. The inhibition of the test H-reflex was inversely related to the level of background voluntary contraction. Single motor units were unable to fire consistently in response to the test stimulus at intervals shorter than 50 ms. Mental nerve stimulation strongly depressed the H-reflex. The time course of this inhibition coincided with the EMG inhibition elicited by mental nerve stimulation during voluntary contraction. The trigeminal Ia input facilitated the R1 component of the blink reflex when the supraorbital test stimulation preceded the masseteric conditioning stimulation by 2 ms. We conclude that the time course of the recovery cycle of the heteronymous H-reflex in the temporalis muscle reflects the after-hyperpolarization potential (AHP) of trigeminal motoneurones, and that the Ia trigeminal input is integrated with other brainstem reflexes. (+info)